Skip to Main Content

Homiletics or Preaching

Biblical Commentaries

Biblical commentaries are indispensable for pastors and ministers who are often pressed for time. A commentator will sometimes devote years of their life to understanding just one book of the bible so that the resulting commentary can inform the expositional preaching of God's word. 
 
There is an embarrassingly large number of biblical commentaries in English today. Some are directed toward popular readers, some toward academics, and some toward pastors and teachers. A practical method for consulting commentaries for the preacher or teacher is to select 3 or 4 that come from various viewpoints (for a closer look at the viewpoints of commentary series, see the Bible Commentaries by Viewpoint page). Knowing how scholars of differing theological persuasions interpret a text will help sharpen your own interpretive skills, as well as inform you of what interpretations your congregants may have encountered. Another angle to consider in choosing a commentary is the level of readership. For example, some commentaries are devotional and won't discuss technical issues. At the other extreme, are technical commentaries that never attempt to apply the word of God to the life of the church. However, there are many commentaries aimed at a happy medium, and several that are specifically aimed at the needs of the pastor and teacher. Here are a few:
  • The Communicator's Commentary (Word Books)
  • The Expositor's Bible Commentary, Revised (Zondervan)
  • Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching (Westminster John Knox Press)
  • Preaching the Word (Crossway Books)
  • Teach the Text Commentary (Baker Books)
I recommend the following resources for selecting appropriate commentaries: